Why yes, that is us you read about in the August issue of O: The Oprah Magazine! In “Sweet on Tart” on page 90, readers are encouraged to discover “the power of sour” and start incorporating tart foods like kefir into their diets. The article features many great nuggets of information about why you should include fermented foods in your diet, some of which we’ll explore today!
Naturally tart foods come with science-backed street cred: many tart foods derive their sour tang from fermentation, a process which churns out millions of good bacteria that help heal and protect the digestive tract, immune system, urinary tract and more.
Tart foods also tend to be high in various acids that can enhance nutrient absorption (citric acid in grapefruit increases iron availability; lactic acid in kefir and yogurt maximizes calcium absorption). One more benefit, “as people move away from sugar and salt, sour and tart options can be high-impact, low-calorie, low-fat replacements,” says New York City-based registered dietitian Cynthia Sass, author of Slim Down Now.
The story highlights three tart foods: kefir, grapefruit and tart cherries. Check out the August issue of O magazine, on stands now, for more info. Until then, a few highlights:
- Kefir boasts up to six times more probiotics than yogurt
- The same live bacterial cultures responsible for kefir’s health benefits are also what give it its trademark tanginess
- Regular kefir consumption can improve hay fever symptoms and boost the immune system enough to help a person avoid a Listeria or e. coli infection
- The sour-sweet fruit gets its luscious garnet color from potent anti-inflammatory phytochemicals called anthocyanins
- Tart cherry juice reduces post-exercise muscle soreness by about 35 percent
- A 2014 University of California, Berkeley study found that grapefruit juice helped mice lose 18 percent more weight than those who drank sweetened water, and lowered their blood glucose as effectively as the type 2 diabetes drug metformin
- Choosing between yellow or pink/red? Grab the latter – they provide more than a third of your daily vitamin A needs (essential for healthy skin and vision), plus heart-protecting lycopene